The State Government congratulates southern councils for taking a significant step towards achieving better outcomes for ratepayers by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.
The Government is committed to ensuring that ratepayers are receiving the best possible services for the lowest possible rates and it is important that we look at voluntary amalgamations and resource sharing as part of that.
Research will now be conducted which will provide solid reliable information so that councils can make informed decisions in close consultation with their communities.
There are two proposals:
This study will model four voluntary amalgamation proposals:
1. Clarence City, Sorell, Tasman and the Glamorgan-Spring Bay Councils;
2. Clarence City, Sorell and Tasman Councils;
3. Sorell and Tasman Councils; and
4. Sorell, Glamorgan-Spring Bay and Tasman Councils.
The Greater Hobart Council study will model the municipal areas of the Hobart City Council, Clarence City Council, Glenorchy City Council and/or Kingborough Council.
Both studies will also consider the potential for shared services or any other model that would best serve ratepayers.
This means that 25 out of 29 Tasmanian councils have agreed to take part in modelling voluntary amalgamations and resource sharing. The modelling will be completed later this year and then we will have a genuine and fully informed discussion with the community about the future of local government in the State.
This is not about reform just for the sake of it, this is about ensuring that ratepayers get quality services with the lowest rates possible.
I want to congratulate those councils who are involved and commend them for the constructive and mature approach to the issue.